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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – The 2022 governor’s race is now underway with former Republican State Senator Paul Schimpf entering his name into the GOP primary.

In launching has campaign, Schimpf is taking aim at Gov. Pritzker.

“Governor Pritzker has been a catastrophic failure as the governor of our state. He has badly mishandled the COVID-19 pandemic and he’s not really leading in terms of solving any of our state’s long-term problems,” said Schimpf.

Schimpf, a graduated of the U.S. Naval Academy served as a Marine infantry officer and military prosecutor. He says the service taught him he how to work with people from all sides of the political spectrum.

“When I hung up my uniform for the last time that didn’t change who I am. I do believe you have a duty to serve your country, your state and your community. I want to see a vibrant Illinois that has a responsible government, safe communities and economic growth through the free market,” he said.

He is highlighting his moderate credentials in his bid for governor.

“I’m a centrist on union issues,” Schimpf said.

In a statement, the Illinois Democratic County Chairs’ Association took aim at Schimpf’s labor record:

“Illinoisans should be very wary of this wolf in sheep’s clothing. Paul Schimpf has built a facade of being pro-labor and moderate. When given the opportunity to prove that during his short time in the Illinois Senate, he opposed key labor issues like supporting increasing the minimum wage.”

Schimpf was the Republican nominee for Attorney General in 2014, losing to incumbent Lisa Madigan. That was the same year voters elected Bruce Rauner governor.

“One of lessons that I learned in that attorney general campaign is that it doesn’t matter how good of a candidate you are, if you don’t have the resources to get your message out, you’re not going to win,” Schimpf said.

Democrats are also highlighting Schimpf’s support for former President Trump. In our interview, he danced around Trump.

“The challenges that Illinois faces are enough that that’s where my focus is,” he said.

Another Republican is reportedly set to enter the race soon is State Senator Darren Bailey, who challenged Governor Pritzker’s COVID executive orders in court.